Transition

I figured I should find something appropriately reflective to say on this day of transition to a New Year–an entirely artificial dividing line, of course, but one that is hard to avoid–but then discovered that Charles Pierce has done it earlier and better:

We are a little lost here in America. Too many of us have tuned out, and too many of us are deeply tuned in to the wrong things. Our eccentricities have curdled into crochets. Our love for the strange and deeply weird has soured into a devotion to the mean and deeply angry. Our renegade national soul has given itself up to petty outlawry. We have tailored the principles of our founding documents — flawed though their authors were — into cheap camouflage for our boring traditional grudges. None of these things are good things. But none of those things is permanent, either. Imagination always has been the way out — a faith in that which seems impossible, a trust that not every mystery is a murder mystery, and that not every mysterious creature is a monster. Imagination is the way out — a belief that safety is not necessarily the primary (or even the secondary) goal of democratic citizenship, and that a self-governing political commonwealth does not always come with a lifetime guarantee.

That’s so true, and for all we know next year and the one following may put us to the test.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.